What are Cryptokitties?
Cryptokitties are a user-friendly way to experience blockchain technology with a virtual cat game. They were one of the first attempts to use blockchain technology for recreational purposes. Each Cryptokitty is verified on the blockchain and just like any other asset, its value can increase or decrease depending on the market.
As a non-fungible token, they rely on their uniqueness to create value. Each cat has a 256-bit genome with DNA and attributes distinctive to that cat which can be passed onto its offspring using a genetic algorithm.
The Evolution of Cryptokitties
- Axiom Zen developed Cryptokitties in 2017. These digital cat assets are stored on ethereum’s blockchain that utilises smart contracts to enable players to buy, collect, breed and trade their virtual cats. Since the app was built on the Ethereum blockchain, all Cryptokitty transactions are made using Ether.
- Genesis was the first-ever Cryptokitty – it was sold for 246.9255 ETH which was worth approximately USD 117,712 on the day.
- The game was so popular soon after release that it congested the Ethereum network with such a high number of transactions taking place. Only a few days after the launch users had already purchased over USD 1million worth of virtual cats.
The release of Cryptokitties highlighted a huge limitation with scalability and the lack of ability to cope with increased mainstream demands. Other businesses working on the platform were majorly slowed down. Axiom eventually eased the issue by increasing the CryptoKitty birth fee from 0.001 ETH to 0.002 ETH.
The most Expensive Cryptokitty
On September 4th, 2018, a Cryptokitty named ‘Dragon’ was sold for a staggering 600 ETH worth $173,310. The sale of Dragon caused quite a stir because she’s a 9th generation kitty and not particularly ‘fancy’ looking. Earlier generations or kitties with rare characteristics tend to be more valuable. Dragon overtook Founder Cat which sold for 253 ETH worth $110,00 at the time.
The Future of Cryptokitties
The world of Cryptokitties (or Kittyverse) is expanding all the time, now in addition to breeding and buying cats; you can participate in catfights and compete in leader boards.
The release of Cryptokitties drove the popularity of Crypto-collectables or non-fungible tokens. Due to the enormous success and popularity of Cryptokitties, people were able to expand their understanding of what a blockchain could be used for, resulting in a flood of similar crypto collectables and digital products which we can trade online.